I Want You To Write My Novel For Free (Updated with FAQ)

It’s a win-win, right? You do the writing, I copy and paste it, slap my name on the cover, and pay you in those most priceless of gifts, an Acknowledgement and a death in print! (It’s priceless, you see, because I will not be paying you in actual money in any way, therefore having no price for me whatsoever.) I mean, who could pass up a deal like that? You won’t find a better one – well, at least maybe a more honest one – in town!

OK, so now this is where I explain that I haven’t gone completely off the deep end, thereby invalidating the prize for everyone who had April 17th 2013 in the pool for Yep, Alan’s Finally Snapped and Needs a Burly Escort to the Rubber Room.

So I’m working on this book, right, you might know about it, called Waiting on the Dead, a modern-day darkly humorous zombie story about the end of the world and all that jazz as seen through the eyes of a shiftless and lazy waiter. Swear to god, I’m working on it. Anyway, in that story, the writer and probably crazy protagonist makes a habit of collecting zombie diaries that other, now-dead people have written. In it, he includes little snippets of those found diaries along with the name of the deceased to illustrate a point or highlight something darkly funny or ironic or heartrendingly tragic or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Go nuts. The point is, the waiter’s memoir of the apocalypse includes other people’s diaries.

That’s where you come in.

What I’m looking for are people willing to write an entry or a snippet of an entry or an entire by-God diary and send it to me. In return, I will use some of what you wrote, acknowledge you by name in the story (or whatever pseudonym you prefer), describe how you died (and if you have a preference, let me know), and include you in a special section of the Acknowledgements of the book that no one but you and maybe my immediate family will read. And pay you NOTHING. Let me reiterate: you will not receive one thin dime for doing it while I sit back and rake in the royalties, because that’s the kinda guy I am.

Seriously though, if you’re interested, send me a message through my Author Facebook Page (click here if you didn’t see that you could click on where I typed Author Facebook Page in order to do this) with your entry and any preferences for your death scene. Particularly good entries will receive an entire scene in the story describing their grisly remains and the discovery of the diary or maybe even have their undead brains smashed in by a shovel! How cool is that! And if it’s really long, tell me that in the message and I’ll give you my uber-private email address to send it to (which is curseoftroius (at) gmail (dot) com).

Thanks in advance for doing my work for me, WITHOUT MONETARY RENUMERATION OF ANY KIND. You’re the best.

UPDATED: I’ve gotten a lot of good questions, so I’ll post them here for additional clarity and the what-not:

1. What time frame does it take place? Modern day all the way, after a presidential election where a Sarah Palin/Michelle Bachmann-type was elected. All the modern conveniences/inconveniences.

2. Where does it take place? The protag’s journey is pretty much from DC to Delaware (insert Wayne’s World joke here), although an individual’s diary could conceivably be from just about anywhere since time passes through the story and people travel. The first acknowledged outbreak occurred in Terra Haute, Indiana, but with the complete unreliability of the news before everything goes dark, alternative theories are welcome.

3. Are the zombies Romero-esque slow zombies or the modern-day PCP-addled rampagers? Romero-esque, and don’t get me started on fast-moving zombies. The Zombie Survival Guide would essentially be a non-fiction book in this world.

4. Is something previously published on a blog OK? I’m perfectly good with using something you’ve published previously on your blog (and that you have all the rights to and tell me that I have permission to use it explicitly) and would include a “used with permission by author” with a link to the story’s original posting in the Acknowledgements section (if you like).

5. Is there a deadline? Sure. How’s about June 1st? If you’re late, it’ll still get consideration. Depending on how late. Like, past the publish date will be hard to pull off, but that date isn’t set.

6. Will you edit and reformat and make all the things written make sense? Absolutely. I will change things and clean them up if necessary. But to be honest, these diaries would be written by everyday people so grammatically incorrect stuff will actually be just as valid as perfect stuff.

7. I have something long. Is that a problem? Not at all. While the entire contribution may not be printed inside the story itself, I will include the full-length entry you sent at the end of the story itself in some kind of appendix, along with your real name and any website/blogsite/books you’ve written, if you’d like.

8. Am I going to be paid for this? You will be paid by the people’s love and adulation forever. You will not be paid in paper money, gold, silver, electronic funds, beads, platinum, argentium, valuable metals, invaluable metals, pearls, or any other kind of monetarily valuable product of any type, even if I sell 5 billion copies and become the richest man in the world. Well, OK, if I sell 5 billion copies, we’ll talk. But 4.9 billion? No way.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on April 17, 2013, in Book Stuff and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This sounds like a really interesting concept!

    • Thanks! I’m lucky enough to know a lot of really talented writers who would probably enjoy getting killed in a story, so I figured I should leverage that otherwise narrow category of people for something useful! Heh.

      • Yeah, I can see that. I’ll email you to find out a bit more about what you’re looking for. It would fit in with a lot of the zombie short story/flash fiction stuff I’ve been doing recently to procrastinate over the first draft of my second book that I’m meant to be working on (and what better way to procrastinate on my own book than in helping someone else with theirs!)

  2. Incoming diary from the main character of “Remains of the Day”.


  3. Updated to include the fact that it’s a current-day story. I apparently like leaving out important details.

  4. wait – is the person writing the diary supposed to be a zombie or a person trying to escape zombies?

    • The diary author would be alive and trying to get away from the zombies or hide from them or kill them all with their handy chainsaw/kayak paddle weapon of choice. Or they could be crazy and think they are a zombie but they really aren’t. But general preference is the perspective of those trying to deal with the zombies as an external threat.

      • And the entry could be about ANYTHING: mundane about the difficulties of finding a can opener, heartbreaking about what it’s like to smash in a loved one’s skull, philosophical about What It All Means, whatever. It could be about just about anything.

  5. Does it need to be funny or can it be Serious… or both, what is your What is your preferred story or you just looking for diversity is story’s?

    • Definitely doesn’t need to be funny – serious works really well and probably best. I guess the only guideline would be “plausible”, meaning that something that could be written as a diary entry by someone caught in a zombie apocalypse (which incidentally might be the biggest stretch of the word “plausible” in the history of everything). The entry can be funny, as long as it’s not slapsticky in relating events – the diarist’s outlook might be funny or ironic or unhinged or just about anything in between.

  6. I think the book should be a story about a burnt out writer who decides to start writing a blog about his burnt outedness only to one day come up with the idea that he can get his followers to write a book for him that he can just sign off on! So he starts getting these killer and amazing submissions from all these super talented writers and patches together one of the greatest stories ever told. Slowly though, after publishing the book and having it because a golden goose type best seller Oprah snortfest deal, his life unravels because one of the submitters goes missing and is later found dead, he was murdered! One by one the people who submitted works all start getting murdered in these bizarre and grotesque ways and the police get involved, and the burnt out writer gets taken in for questioning because all of the evidence is pointing towards him. Finally in a fit of panic, the writer locks himself in his shitty one room apartment and slowly succumbs to the madness that was creeping into his brain the whole damn time, only to reveal that none of the writers ever existed!!! He made up all of the writers and sleep wrote/emailed his own submissions(narcotics could be involved as well, like lots.)!!!! He even wrote all the murder articles too!!! In fact, on the very last page it is revealed that his computer WASN’T EVEN PLUGGED INTO THE INTERWEBZ!!!!! My work here is done, back to pretending to work at work! Cheerio!

  7. Sent the full entry as a message to your author page. Lemme know if you need it in some other form.

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